May 23: “Fight Sin with Scripture”

6 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Samuel 2:12–3:39
John 13:1-30
Psalm 119:1-16
Proverbs 15:29-30

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Psalm 119:11 (NLT): “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Psalm 119 is a fascinating chapter for quite a few reasons:

  • It’s the longest chapter in the Bible.
  • The chapter progresses through the entire 22-letter Hebrew alphabet with each grouping of 8 verses starting with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet from the first letter (aleph) to the last (taw).
  • Virtually every verse has a word that refers to the Bible (“law,” “your word,” “precepts,” “commands,” “instructions,” “rules,” etc.)
  • It’s essentially the halfway point in a journey through the entire Old and New Testaments.

In the verse that I have chosen for today, the author notes that he had discovered a way to keep from doing those things that would offend his God and hurt himself – he treasured God’s Word in his heart.

Psalm 119:11 (NLT): “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

So, how does this work? How can we allow God’s Word to keep us from sinning?

First, you’ve got to spend time with God’s Word. It won’t do you any good unless you are in it. And our exposure to God’s Word really needs to be something we do every single day.

Second, it’s not simply reading God’s Word that helps us. We need to “treasure” it. That means we value it. We are enjoying it so much that we reflect on it throughout the day. We need to meditate on a verse to two so that it goes from our short-term memory to our long-term memory. It needs to spread from our heads to our hearts.

Third and finally, God’s Word keeps us from sinning by informing us about what is right and wrong. It changes the way we see things because our mind is becoming more biblical. And as we see the offensiveness of sin by our regular, in-depth exposure to Scripture, we will despise it and abstain from it. When we sin, we will quickly make things right.

But, the Bible also acts as a weapon. In fact, Ephesians 6:17 calls the internalized Word of God a sword. Whenever sin is presented to us as a temptation, the Holy Spirit desires to run to the arsenal of our minds to find a relevant Word of God that we have made our own. He desires to use it to fight off temptation. Jesus illustrated how this is done in Matthew 4:1-11 as He fought off temptation with Scripture that He had memorized and internalized.

So, to fight off sin in your life, spend time in God’s Word. 

I’ll end with a quote that I heard as a teenager. I heard one of my teachers at church say it, and I loved it so much that I wrote it inside the front of my Bible.

“The Bible will either keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” – D.L. Moody


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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